17&me By Julia Zhou


I’m like the hero in those
action movies we used to fade away
into, blue denim couch and all.
Friday nights of Monopoly games
and cave carved stares, marshmallow fluff
stuck between our hair. I’m something
Human, something alien, something
enticing, something lovely, delicious,
fragrant, like a pufferfish gliding.
I’m soft to touch, most times.
Sometimes my spine inverts and
the increments of bone slice
through skin as some sort of biological
Knife. Not always, sometimes. The lines splay
out into skew lines, angles barely harsh enough
grip around like chopsticks. The ones
we used to pick off Cheetos with. No
cheese rinds for fingers. Simper like
a steam bun, honey roll into the tongue,
sweetness ebbing as I find a mouth
to cover my mouth. I can’t pin down the
taste. Secret umami, spiced in gun flares and
fairy dust. Washed down the throat
in a crackling static of gin spiked

By Julia Zhou


Julia Zhou is a high school senior from Herndon, Virginia. Her writing has been recognized by the Poetry Society of the UK and the National YoungArts Foundation; they can be found in Antithesis Journal, Blue Marble Review, and Typishly, among others. Find her napping with a Campbell’s textbook cradled in arm, playing quizbowl, or staring at the moon.

Leave a Reply